Carl Stevens’ Journal: The Saga Of Market Basket: A Poem
This is the tale of an awful schism
that rocked the cradle of capitalism:
a story of hatred, anger and greed;
a story of loyalty, envy and need;
a tree of contention with bad family roots; a room full of men who were counting their loot; a ship of a store that was tempest tossed; thousands of workers who just loved their boss.
Two cousins they were: Artie T, Artie S; their contention exploded in a terrible mess.
Artie S, full of the blaze that burns enmity, got control of the board and expelled Artie T!
But the workers rebelled, with their voices and feet; they walked off the job, and walked on the street.
Their paychecks were captive, but their hearts were free, as they yelled and they yelled: “Bring back Artie T!”
Market Basket shelves were empty and bare, and customers, loyal, just were not there.
Because of this determined insurrection, spider webs formed in the produce section.
Cereal, peaches, you just couldn’t get it; looking for bacon? granola? forget it!
Customers chose their side by just leavin’; parking lots were as empty as the stands in Cleveland.
The DeMoulas proud name limped on a bad leg.
You can’t piece together a broken egg.
This was for real; these workers weren’t fakin’, and the board was gored with a mess of their makin’.
For more than a month it went on that way when finally, just before Labor Day, the board said “enough, you win, we’ll go.”
And Artie T was again the C.E.O.
The shelves will be full, customers will return, and through it all, I think, we have something to learn:
a boss can be more than a name on the door.
He can be heart, and soul, and something more.
When he respects workers, they don’t walk away.
Maybe that’s the message this Labor Day.
Listen to Carl’s poem:
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